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Heidi Said:

Electricity for my Tent?

We Answered:

First of all, how much electricity do you need (what will you be using)?

For DC 12 volt power, a simple sealed deep cycle battery.

For AC, power, you will need a deep cycle battery, a power inverter with a capacity, continious power rating of 1/4 more watts than all the things being used. The surge rating is simply for the power up of the things being used since it generally take more power to turn them on than to operate them.

I personally use a 1500 watt continious 3000 watt surge power inverter (they are expensive, look online for a good deal). Depending on the size of the power inverter, you will need some wire to connect the power inverter to the battery. My 1500 watt power inverter uses 4 guage wires to connect. I suggest using 1 size bigger wires than the recommended size for the power inverter.

As for solar, its expensive and it will take a long time to recharge a deep cycle battery but its better than having nothing. I use a 5 watt, 18.8 volt (will charge a 12 volt battery even though its max output is 18.8 volts) VW solar panel.

These can be found inexpensively on ebay and are inexpensive compared to alot of other solar panels. Here is a lot of 3:…

I've had one of these charge a average sized car battery from completly dead to fully charged in about 1 week.

I've also charged the battery with jumper cables and my vehicle. Running the car while the jumper cables are connected so the cars alternator charged the battery.

The power inverter can get warm but it depends on their max capacity and how many watts you use. They do have cooling fans though. An example is this: With my 1500 watt power inverter, operating a small device at about 300 watts, it barely gets warm, but if I use 1000 watts, then it starts warming up.

My power inverter is nice in the way it cools since the fans only come on as needed and therefor save power and is rather quiet.

As for determining which way to connect the wires, red is positive (+) and black is negative (-). If they are not color coated, use a voltage reader. Don't ever touch the negative and positive together. Negative only connects to negative and positive to positive (there are cirtain things to connect them differently but don't worry about that since you won't need to do it).

Additionally, if the power inverter comes with a 12 volt car plug, to find out which is the positive and negative wire, carefully open the plug. The center push pin in the 12 volt plug is the positive (+) and the outside bars are the negative (-).

Hopefully this helps.

Discuss It!

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